Fred Flintstone at the Cross House

One day I pulled up the 1970s vinyl flooring in the Cross House kitchen.

Under was 1950s flooring.

I pulled that up.

Under was a thin layer of Masonite-type boards.

I laboriously pulled all that up.

Under was…wow. Wild! Weird!



ABOVE: The very first layer of linoleum in the kitchen of the Cross House, resting atop the 1894 maple flooring.


There can be no question: The Cross House has the EXACT same flooring the Flintstone’s have in their home. Right?

The flooring is so crazy!

Even more amazing than its appearance is its construction. With modern flooring, the colors would simply be laid upon a plain sheet of vinyl. With time, one would wear through the coloring. But the Flintstone flooring is solid color all the way through. To do this, each and every color you see above is a separate piece from the adjacent color. I repeat: a separate piece.

You can see this more obviously in the below image, where a section of the floor is damaged:



ABOVE: See what I mean about each piece being separate?


I cannot fathom how they did this. Today, such flooring could be created by computer lasers. But then? Were legions of munchkins kept locked in vast warehouses and forced to laboriously snip snip snip zillions of these pieces?

The flooring stuns me. It is both beautiful and very odd (a combo I, for some reason, always find appealing).

Sadly though, while in amazing shape for its age, I cannot keep it; too many areas are damaged. And under is the original pine flooring. I would love to restore that.

The plan is to carefully pull up the Flintstone flooring, and use it to make, perhaps, counter tops for the kitchen, and, perhaps, as a surface for the huge table in the laundry room (below the kitchen). This way the flooring will remain in the Cross House, where it has been for 80+ years, but repurposed.

I think Fred & Wilma would approve.



  1. Traci on January 4, 2015 at 1:00 am

    Hi Ross:
    Can you put up an example of all the different floorings you removed. It would be interesting to compare the different decades.


    • Ross on January 4, 2015 at 1:13 am

      I removed the other flooring before I had this blog. So I did not take images! The 1970s floor was plain white. The 1950s floor was plain off-white with gold flecks. Neither was of interest. But what was under? Zounds! You should have seen my face when the 1930s floor first peeked out from its imprisonment!

  2. Chad's Crooked House on November 29, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    Are you going to cover this with something on the countertops?

    • Ross on November 29, 2015 at 9:44 pm

      I did not quite understand your question.

      • Julia on May 8, 2017 at 10:18 am

        Chad meant would you use a clear material layer of some kind to protect the surface
        of the linoleum if you used it as a table cover..

  3. Penny Riedel on November 30, 2015 at 9:07 am

    Ross, I have been reading your comments on “Old house dreams”, for years now. I have never posted any comments on the site, but I am truely in LOVE with it. I have spent the last couple days reading your blog. My husband said last night, “are you still looking at that house?” We live about 3 hours from you and Tom (husband) went to a year if college in Emporia in the early 80’s. I asked him if he remembered the Cross Home. He said he wasn’t sure as Emporia had so many large Victorian homes. ~ I believe the floor you are talking about on this page was probably “cut” with a die and then assembled. ?? Keep up the good work!

  4. Montana Channing on February 24, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    Check out Wikipedia on linoleum. Yes they are separate pieces (talk about the world’s worst jobs) and linoleum is still made and used in high traffic areas as it is more durable than vinyl and more flexible than tile.

  5. Ragnar on January 9, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    I’m fairly sure they used metal moulds or something like that for the soft raw materials rather than cutting the individual pieces.

    • Ross on January 9, 2017 at 5:57 pm

      The undamaged sections have no space for a mould between the different colors. And it is certain that the various colors ARE separate pieces, as shown in the images.

      Or do you mean that each piece was MOLDED rather than CUT, and then all pieced together like a jigsaw puzzle? If so, yes, that certainly makes sense!

  6. Lauren Wohlwend on February 26, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    Pleaseeeeeeeeee do not use this flooring for the kitchen countertops!!!!

  7. Laura on November 8, 2018 at 7:35 pm

    Are you sure this doesn’t have asbestos in it? Before you use as a counter top? …..3 years too late I know.

    • Barbara V on November 30, 2019 at 4:08 pm

      Linoleum was NOT made with asbestos – and using it for a countertop is a great idea – in fact, I did this with an antique remnant I found years ago, and it has help up great!

      • Danette Bloomfield on January 3, 2021 at 9:37 pm

        On the contrary, a lot of older linoleum was made with asbestos. We had to be careful when we were renovating an older house we lived in because the linoleum had asbestos in it.

        • Ross on January 3, 2021 at 9:51 pm

          Dear Danette,

          “Real linoleum—as distinct from synthetic versions or vinyl—is made from all-natural materials, including wood flour, rosins, ground limestone, powdered cork, pigments, jute and linseed oil.”

          Asbestos though was common to early vinyl flooring.

  8. Danette Bloomfield on January 3, 2021 at 9:32 pm

    I would make sure your flooring doesn’t have asbestos in it before you use it for counter tops.

  9. Burr Nelson on January 22, 2021 at 6:31 pm

    There’s a YouTube channel the Second Empire Strikes Back. It’s about a guy that is restoring a second empire style Victorian Home in St Louis Missouri. I was wondering if you could post on his channel and tell him who the people are on his fireplace mantel. You had a similar experience and found out who the people were like for example Robin Hood and Maid Marian Maybe.

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